Feb 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Justice Sotomayor: Rushing Trump admin's legal challenges "comes at a cost"

In this image, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor sits
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor at Tufts University on Sept. 12 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a dissenting opinion on Friday against the court's 5-4 vote to allow the Trump administration to penalize immigrants likely to rely on public programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

The big picture: The Trump administration has consistently tried to get controversial cases in front of the Supreme Court as quickly as possible, routinely asking the high court to step in before appeals courts have a chance to rule, Axios' Sam Baker reports. Sotomayor is apparently expressing her dissent at this new arrangement as well as the ruling itself.

Flashback: “It appears the Government has treated this exceptional mechanism as a new normal,” Sotomayor wrote in a dissenting opinion last fall. “Not long ago, the Court resisted the shortcut the Government now invites. I regret that my colleagues have not exercised the same restraint here.”

What she's saying:

"Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited Court resources in each. And with each successive application, of course, its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow. ...
... this Court is partly to blame for the breakdown in the appellate process. That is because the Court—in this case, the New York cases, and many others—has been all too quick to grant the Government’s “reflexiv[e]” requests. Ibid. But make no mistake: Such a shift in the Court’s own behavior comes at a cost."
— Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote

The other side: "We are gratified by the Supreme Court ruling on Friday night lifting the final remaining injunction on the public charge regulation. As a result, the Department of Homeland Security will be able to implement its regulation on Monday," the White House said in a statement on Saturday.

Go deeper: Trump administration to penalize immigrants likely to use public benefits

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